Wait

This is the age of the hustle. It is easier than ever to hustle. We always have access to the people we want to reach – via email and social networks. If you want to send someone an email a day to remind them of something that will help you, you can.

To hustle is also glorified. Isn’t that what the gritty entrepreneur and the storied networker does? The pursuit of this kinds of hustle abhors patience and diffuses the tension of waiting by taking action. Do something, anything. Bucket obvious mistakes under learning and “iterate.”

There are three problems with this approach.

First, mistakes we could and should have avoided with some thought are not signs of us learning. They point to stupidity.

Second, the tension of waiting and responding (instead of replying) is the tension that helps us grow. We sacrifice growth and wisdom when we sacrifice that tension.

And, finally, it should be obvious that this is the kind of hustle that only works in the short run.

Don’t glorify action. Action isn’t great. It is just, well, action. We make progress by learning when to act.

And, sometimes, as a result, the best thing to do is to just wait.